Shaaz Nasir

Posts Tagged ‘Ottawa’

Don’t Drop It

In Advice, Friends, Future, Uncategorized on December 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Not that many people know, but I truly enjoy art in all its forms from creating to consuming. From short films, amateur photography, attempting abstract art, to some lame poetry, art is where I am content. My passion for economics is matched or sometimes overtaken by the desire to embrace a side of me neglected for far too long. While in Oxford, art class opened a new world of processing information from places within me I never knew existed. This feeling for art was further developed when visiting museums in Paris, London, Brussels, and New Delhi. I was truly fortunate to have experienced such an eclectic mixture of artwork from around the world.

I have made many short films /simple clips that I will now begin to share with you. For the past 4 years during the chase for success while studying international economics and developments, I dropped one of my passions on the way. Below is just one of my works. It’s a drive some friends and I took while on our break. Around 4 hours of video is showcased in under 2 minutes on the backdrop of one of my favourite songs “Don’t Cross”.

There are many more to come, some from Hong Kong, Beijing, and even old paintings from the past might be shown on MTG. At the end of the day we must refocus on what makes us content with our-selfs. If you had a passion in the past and was forced to drop it, go back and pick it up because with very step we take we must mind this devastating gap. The gap between doing the things we love versus doing the things we must.

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Where does a uOttawa Muslim go eat?

In Advice, Attire, Business, Culture on November 15, 2010 at 7:48 am

The quest for Halal at uOttawa

I have been wandering around Campus for around 4 years now, and I thought to myself what has changed in these past years? Knowing me the first thing that came to mind is food (do not judge…  I AM HUNGRY!!); halal food to be specific. I hear that our Student Federation is working on adding options around campus which is definitely a step in the right direction. Carleton has a well-developed cafeteria with options that include halal. However, Carleton is also located in a luxurious oasis that is the middle of nowhere; it is expected of them to have decent internal options. On the other hand uOttawa may be a tad gray but at least it is centrally located with hundreds of restaurants at our finger tips. So there is no beef with uOttawa because it’s adapting to demographic shifts and embracing reality.

Until the day comes when real halal options (not just the ones at SITE) are provided through the appropriate venue, what are people to do?

Here is a list of the best alternatives on our campus!

Yum Yum List

  1. Upper Crust in UCU – They have one amazing double cheese, tomato basil, cheese induced baguette. Yes they only have one veggie option but WOW this sandwich is amazing (Ignore the upper crust in FTX… YUCK) cost : $7
  2. Crazy Garden Something – Name does not matter, location does. It is located right past the Royal Oak. This is a veggie heaven with all vegetarian and organic options… wow choice? What do I do! Watch out as some foods are strange to say the least, as for advice, try the tofu tammari something with wild rice, too good. (desert: the oh so decadent brownies which make brownies anywhere else seem like a bad joke) cost $7-14
  3. Chip Wagon in near 90U – Veggie dogs and a decent burger as well! Order the combo with fries and a drink for around $8 (Veggie POUTINE… yum). Sometimes the lines are long and with it being -40, a 10 min wait is not too fun.

Hot Dog Man near Arts – Shout out to my bro who makes the best veggie dogs out there.  If only he listened and ordered some halal sausages from Toronto with the rest of his inventory. He sells one thing and unlike the Upper Crust UCU, it’s not filling.

Despite everything being overpriced and limited in options I am happy we have some options!

Now for the list that will cause beef, not halal beef, just beef.

Worst Places on Campus

  1. Cafe Alt – Hold on now; take a breath now; take another one. I respect the intent of this place and the people committed to this cause but the implementation and actual reality forces me to admit how terrible Cafe Alt is. Back to basics: overall food is not well put together; choices are limited; and menu is poorly made. Prices are through the roof for what is student made food that you could have made at home for 95% less. I encourage everyone to visit it the place and make up your own mind but for me, Cafe FAIL. (The atmosphere is relaxing sometimes though).
  2. Subway near DMS – Veggie delight, there is nothing delightful about fake bread and rabbit food. Harsh and true, the veggies are rarely fresh and the pricing makes little sense to the consumer but to Subway oh baby it has to be their biggest “marked up” item. Tuna does not taste like tuna and must have high levels of mercury; so I pay to slowly damage myself?  Do not even talk about those veggie patties nor the lobster; do not even think about it! (I eat subway a lot but  never did I say I enjoy it. When you have to study it is the fastest way to recharge).

So my fellow people please state your case in the comments box below!

Doubt Me.

In Advice, Blog, Business, Canada, China, City Council, Culture, Economics, Economics Association, ESA, Exercise, Experience, Failure, Faith, Film, Football, Glasses, Globalization, google, GQ Magazine, Greeting, Life, Metrosexual, Orientation, Packing, Tennis, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

Doubt if you must, it’s something I have grown accustom to. If people don’t doubt you it means you’re not pushing the boundaries, not daring to do something that can’t be done. The moment people stop doubting you it’s not because you won them over but rather because you lost yourself.”

– life experiences

From the start people will doubt you and your aspirations. In an attempt to clip your wings all types of methods will be used; no matter what you must resist the barraged of attacks. At the end of high-school after 4 years of planning to become a psychologist I discovered the world of economics. My plan for the next 10 years was scratched in 10 minutes as I frantically scrambled through my research to determine the prerequisites of my new dream.

The Chinese could not have built a greater wall than what stood between me and economics.

The hurdles added up to around 2 years of more schooling. I scurried over to my high school academic advisor to devise a master plan in which my dream would become a reality way sooner. Little did I know, she would doubt me.

“Shaaz, why are you trying? Just give up on this goal of yours. You can’t do this it’s just too much for you. Stop and settle for what you have; you would probably need 3 years of schooling to get the perquisites. There is no way this can be done.”

Some great Academic Advice eh?

So I picked up the pieces of my shattered goal from the floor and made a quick exit. After some consulting with my family and other sources (you can smell my sheer determination at this point, never give up), the solution was found!

Take that Risk

I had a meeting with the department of economics at Carleton which produced a a risky choice. I could take a harder version of  grade 12 calculus at Carleton (some hybrid version which means more in-depth/challenging) and VOILA  I would be majoring in economics at uOttawa. However, the chance to waste money, time, rejecting job offers and failing was high as I had ZERO experience with math at that level.

Of course I took the class.

LONG days LONG nights and NO Summer with LOTS of stress. On average 5-6 hours of studying a day everyday period.

Raw brute force.

Result?

Determination worked as I finished in the top 10% percent of the class with a 79%.  Proved a good amount of people wrong but more importantly proved to myself I could live out my dream, no matter how tall those walls were.

Now I am only 7 months away from my degree in International Economics and Development with a minor in Business Administration. I have 3 years of government work experience. I have the privilege to be the VP Finance of uOttawa’s Tennis League and  the VP Academic uOttawa’s Economic Student Association. Furthermore, I been lucky enough to embark on a 20 day economic delegation to China and Malaysia as a Trade Ambassador.

This message  is not about me or my life but rather about the powers of doubt itself.

Keep pushing the boundaries and doing what’s not possible time and time again.

So for those people please continue to doubt me and MTG.

It only means good things are coming our way…

Mind the Culture: Shaaz Jazz for studying

In Advice, Attire, Blog, BMO, Canada, Globalization, University of Ottawa on October 17, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I was studying late one night and needed some Cheezy Jazz, you know the kind that you hear in elevators or on the line waiting for Rogers to fix your internet for the 13th time, (but hey take no offence as I love that music once in a while) that’s when I discovered the “Jazz” Artist Dave.

This guy makes the cheesiest jazz out there…

I got his album and was pleasantly surprised to find  his message on change/life …. reminded me of  MTG

Read it

“I think on some level we all feel it…I sure have. A frequency and velocity of change that’s unprecedented in our lifetime—nothing short of a complete realignment of everything we thought we knew. It’s a whole new game and the rules are still being written. Well, like it or not it’s here… seemingly everywhere, making it an uneasy time for many. How we respond and move through this period is what really counts now.

Music has a particular ability to awaken and stir the soul. Through the recording of these songs, I found a way to embrace this crossroads in my own life and ultimately discover a sense of comfort within the discomfort. It was a transformative experience of great learning, inspiration and healing. It is my hope that in listening to this album, you’ll begin to notice a shift in you as well. Consider this a ‘musical survival guide’ for these unfamiliar times. All that’s needed is an open heart and an open mind to awaken, inspire and enlighten you on your path.

We’re fortunate to be alive at this extraordinary moment . . . for out of the darkness comes the brightest light. With a calm and graceful passage through the chaos, we can arrive to a place of pure possibility and promise. Our future is unfolding in all the right ways, for all the

right reasons. Let’s embrace it. Hello, Tomorrow. With love, gratitude and blessings . . .”

-Dave Koz  (95% sure this was his excellent writers working for his PR and in fact he probably never read this lol..the message regardless of who may have written is highly valuable)

Mind the Economy: “Currency War” made simple

In Advice, Beijing, Blog, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Global Vision, Globalization, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, India, Kuala Lampur, Life, Lunch, Malaysia, Ottawa, Packing, Shenzhen, SME, Song, Success, Technology, Television, Traveling, Uncategorized, University of Ottawa, World on October 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm

How do Currencies and Interest rates play off each other?

More recently, many developing countries have had to contend with their own currencies rising and undermining their competitiveness.

The problem is that those low interest rates in the developed world have led investors to seek higher returns elsewhere, in emerging markets.

To invest in those markets, they need to buy the currency and that pushes its value up. That in turn makes those countries’ goods more expensive for foreign buyers and the overseas investment money creates a danger of unsustainable bubbles in their property and financial markets.

China has stopped its currency rising much by buying foreign currency. If it were to refrain from that and allow the yuan to rise, it would probably help other developing countries that compete with China, as well as the US which is protesting the most.

But there is another force behind the rising developing world currencies. Their economies are growing robustly, while the rich countries are not.

The tension over between the US and China over currency policy surfaced once again at the International Monetary Fund Talks

USA renewed the pressure on China to allow its currency to rise. The US has a long-standing grievance over China’s currency policy, which limits the movement of the yuan against the dollar. The American complaint is that it gives Chinese exporters an unfair competitive advantage.

There was a vigorous response from Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China’s central bank (The People’s Bank of China), who blamed the rich countries for problems in the currency markets. Mr Zhou said extremely low interest rates in rich countries had created “stark challenges for emerging market countries”.

My Thoughts on the Gap.

Tensions are rising among the developing world and developed as priorities on currency (non)manipulation begin to clash. However, should a country stop manipulating its currency in the name of “fairness”?

Destabilizing the economy in the short run, running the risk of damaging the private sector as businesses go bankrupt; jeopardizing an economy’s growth and ability to reduce poverty  does not sound “fair”. The notion of “fair” implies morals which begs the question: who is making these moral rules?

WTO….IMF….WB……USA…..CHINA…..WALDO?????

International Economics is a game where rules are subjective but actual substantive growth is tangibly objective. I am not for currency manipulation but neither am I for irrational and sudden policies  that would jeopardize  an entire economy….especially not the economy that’s the driving force of world growth in terms of consumer consumption ….

-Articles combined from BBC & CBC

How I lost 52 pounds

In Exercise, Fat, Globalization, GQ Magazine, Hair, Weight Loss on October 5, 2010 at 12:46 am

252 Pounds

My journey to live a healthier life started in 2006 while watching the World Cup with my dad. I was a very hefty fellow weighing around 252 pounds at age 17 in grade 12. That’s not even funny but down right dangerous. After seeing such fine athletes running around with such great freedom and movement, I said to myself, man you’re 252.

After consulting my family doctor and being warned about diabetes, heart attacks, and quite frankly death, it was time for a change. I was not over eating due to sadness or some type of mental issue; rather it was my positive attitude that did me in.

Positive Attitude to Blame…WHAT?!

I was just a really happy person and confident in who I was, however , my positivity became some type of denial or false sense of everything will be fine mentality. My family played a huge part in my quest to live a healthier life; buying me a cool treadmill was a strong step forward on the road to weight loss.

I still remember my first attempt ..oh boy…

speed 2.5

incline 3

time: 22 minutes

burned around 150 calories

ahahhahah I was dead afterwards!

Slowly worked my way up to

speed 3.0-3.5

incline 12

time 60 minutes

burns around 1000 calories (keep in mind as I drop fat..it takes more to drop the same amount of calories)

Eating

I stopped eating the junk and started eating the fine home made Indian food I previously ignored (yes, very dumb I know who the heck ignores homemade Indian food). The journey had rough points however, when I reached 218 lbs. school work and other work related issues drained my time and I went up to 225 lbs. I told myself that walking backwards was not an option and began my treadmill once again with even more determination.

Today

At 200 pounds on the dot I feel much more alive than before. Although I have a solid 20 pounds to lose with about 10 pounds of muscle to gain, I am sure with the same determination this new goal will be achieved. This was a hard post for me as I prefer not to go into too much details of my former larger than life body. If even just one person reads this and becomes inspired to take action and see their doctor about how to live a healthier life, well worth the uneasiness. I am now working on breaking my Personal Record of 31.024 for my 5 km and will aim towards running a 10 km shortly. The second phase of my self improvement is hitting the gym and cardio as together they will produce a sexy Shaaz!  Jokes aside cardio combined with the gym is key to making a sustainable difference, expect to see an update this post shortly. Good ol’ World Cup 2006… thank you!

BEFORE AND AFTER (I  prefer before and half way point)

Shaaz in the Amazing Race Malaysia Video !!!

In Advice, Blog, Business, Culture, Experience, Failure, Film, Friends, Global Vision, Globalization, Greeting, Success, Technology, Uncategorized on October 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Racing in Malaysia

While in Malaysia we were fortunate enough to take part in the Global Vision Amazing Race!

Same concept as the real deal as our team was superb while running around like mad people in Malaysia for hours. We got a chance to see Malaysia thoroughly from using all types of transportation to find monkeys and much more!

Twist Baby Twist

Here was the twist, at the end of race you had a few hours to produce some type of presentation to the judges. The faster you completed the race the more time you get to prepare and make that crucial presentation that laid out all the answers.

Half way through the race our team realized that we could run around and simply take pictures to complete the tasks or take the time and actually talk to the locals and experience the culture. Furthermore , we merged with another group which did slow us down but on the positive side we really did engage in meaningful discussions.

Nonetheless, we finished last place because of shift in focus and merging with more people.

With only around 2 hours for 10 people to collect their answers, brainstorm, and produce a video….time was running out. After taking showers and coming up with a plan we I had 14 minutes left.  In contrast to teams that were half the size with double amount of time to work on the project.

14 minutes

We decided to create a video and I was the one with the skills and the mac book (iMovie). I had to capture the essence of 10 + people while summarizing around 6 hours into 4 minutes in 14 minutes …this was quite the challenge.  It was a solid team effort where the people generated solid ideas and unique marketing concepts. Keeping cool under pressure is a trait we all need to master as it allows you to find a strong foundation to be productive in an environment of utter chaos.  In other words, “just chill”.

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it

Results

While I was making the video, the other team players were perfecting their pitch to the panel of judges. We all came to the conclusion that despite what some clock said…we did not come in last. The point of the amazing race was to better understand and immerse ourselves in the culture as your team, communication, and stress management skills were put to the test.  Not run around simply  taking pictures and pushing people out of the way…yes that would make a great impression on the Malaysians….

Thus we felt confident that although others “raced to the finish line” we took the path less travelled and “learned” to the finish line. With 1 minute remaining the video and pitch was in sync with our team roaring to go.

Everything went according to plan and as a result we went from dead last (10th place) to 3rd as many of those “racers” got numerous questions wrong and missed the point of the whole race.

3rd ….solid team effort with only 14 minutes to prove it.

Enjoy the video (dam youtube downgrades the video quality)

Keep in mind we had three presenters talking about what we did to further add to the video!

Exorcisms in Ottawa?!

In Faith, Ghost, Sin, Uncategorized on October 4, 2010 at 8:46 am

What the hell is this? (lame pun)

I was walking around in downtown ottawa when I stumbled upon this fine piece of work. He has 20 years of experience ripping off people and he guarantees it…

ok…Sorry sir you are still the devil..keep the money?

How much does this clown charge anyways?

Is this a joke, or is he actually using the movie “the last exorcism” as a way to promote his “buSINess”?

Dealing with Failure

In Advice, Business, Experience, Failure, Friends, Life, Success, Youtube on September 23, 2010 at 7:18 am

How to learn from Failure

We learn the most when we fail.

With full confidence I can sincerely say the worst critic in life is yourself. When one truly thinks he has failed, no one can do anything to prove otherwise. We must pick up the pieces and build a stronger self, one that will not repeat the mistakes of the past but move forward with lessons learnt.

Even though many people may be fortunate enough to say that their failures are on par with others successes. What others think, say, or do just doesn’t matter if you yourself are not happy with your performance. How you deal with failure defines your character, shapes your resilience, and can propel you to new heights.

At the end of the day when you have tried your best and still come up short, there is not much one can do.

People say: “well at least you tried your best :)”

That’s the point…

Your best failed.

Failing because you did not try; failing because you did not practice; failing because you just did not care…

That’s fine.

But when your best is failing; it is a disaster.

When you put your best foot forward and externalities that are out of your control take you down. That is true failure. The type of failure you never had a chance to stand up to. When your best fails, one tends to loose self-respect. If you loose that, why should anyone respect you? Again it comes down to how you perceive yourself, as you are your worse enemy.

Self-praise is useless

Self-hatred is everything

So how does one learn from failing?

I use to think that the answer was simple: never fail, keep winning. That’s flawed thinking that will smash you in the face when you do fail.

So practice makes perfect ?

Keep on failing?

No obviously.

Take notes on why you failed. Accept that externalities are out of your control, staying positive, and harnessing the art of resilience will assist you. Above all, time, if used properly can be the best healer. However in a fast paced life, who has time?

Knowing you let the opportunity to launch yourself to whole new level slip is a sharp slap to the face. Especially when you knew your true best could have accomplished that great leap and much much more, winning so many times, one could just forget how to deal with failure, and the worst kind, the one where you think you have failed.

“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities”

Mind the Mind


Video: Shaaz in Chinese Microsoft Meeting

In Advice, Business, Canada, China, Economics, Experience, Global Vision, Globalization, Traveling, University of Ottawa, World on September 16, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Junior Team Canada had a discussion with one the experts at Microsoft Asia-Pacific region in Beijing R&D Headquarters.

We went over were Microsoft sees the world in the next ten years as the expert provided us with extensive market analysis on various sectors within the industry. The Asia-Pacific region is playing an increasingly significant role in Microsoft’s global innovation strategy. They create cutting-edge of technology, innovating solutions that impact millions of people around the world.

They have a focus on their four core pillars of research, incubation, development and ecosystem partnership, their engineers and researchers are passionate about creating the world’s best solutions and experiences.

Emerging Markets
Countries in the Asia-Pacific form some of the top emerging markets. China has the world’s largest number of mobile device and consumer electronics users and the world’s second largest number of PC and Internet users. Its vast market and specific user needs such as SMS and online games inspire new forms of technology integration, while offering new business opportunities. Actively engaging theses emerging markets like China in the development of competitive technologies, products and services is the best way to bring the benefits of innovation to these markets and the rest of the world. Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D discussed how they are  exploring areas such as healthcare, education and mobile technology.

We were the first ever group of Young Canadian Professionals to engage with Microsoft Asia-Pacific R & D!

Here is a brief video….it’s very random and after the presentation lol